In 2015 SIANI funded a new Expert Group in Southeast Asia, which has been looking at best practices and the capacities for Higher Education for Sustainable Agriculture (HESA) in the region. Initially the group has established three “sub-groups” in three pilot countries; Thailand, the Philippines and Laos, PDR, where they have focused on interacting and involving key stakeholders working in the field of sustainable agriculture and education, through regional and national events and meetings. There has been a great interest from a broad spectrum of different stakeholders; from civil society, to academic institutions to national level organisations and policy-makers, such as experts from the ASEAN Secretariat and UN.
The expectations of this Expert Group were fulfilled thanks to the many activities in a short period of time. Seminar discussions, policy dialogues, “write-shops” with academic analysis and reflections on government planning about higher education have all taken place in the year of 2015.
Written outputs from the work of the group include the three national HESA Policy Briefs, which give recommendations around agricultural education policy and reforms in selected ASEAN countries. Excitingly, preparations are ongoing for the second phase of this Expert Group and funding is seeked for. In the proposed phase 2, four new sub groups will be created (for Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia) while the policy recommendations already created for Laos PDR, Thailand and the Philippines will hopefully begin to be operationalized in government planning processes.
See link below to the report which describes the activities and outputs more in detail.